Also published on this date: Tuesday, March 23, 2021: Maximum Shelf: Seven Days in June

Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, March 23, 2021


St. Martin's Press: The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth by Ben Rawlence

Berkley Books: This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel

Candlewick Press: The Heartbreak Bakery by A R Capetta

Other Press: Home Reading Service by Fabio Morábito, translated by Curtis Bauer

HarperCollins Publishers: Click to register for the William Morrow & Custom House Winter 2022 Fiction Showcase!

St. Martin's Press: See, Solve, Scale: How Anyone Can Turn an Unsolved Problem Into a Breakthrough Success by Danny Warshay

News

Saint Xavier University Bookstore Going Online-Only

The Saint Xavier University bookstore in Chicago, Ill., will begin transitioning to an online-only bookstore in May, SXU Student Media reported. Once the store's current contract with Follett expires at the end of this semester, the bookstore will enter into a three-year commitment with Akademos.

The university explained that the decision to go online-only was due to the "increasing costs of textbooks and the growing trend of students choosing to purchase their textbooks and course materials from online booksellers." They hope the virtual store will provide faculty with a "streamlined textbook adoption process" and more affordable options for students. The online store will also sell "spirit wear" and university-branded gift items.

Auxiliary services director Linda Moreno noted that "the current employees are Follett employees and will work with their corporation for new placement opportunities within the Follett system."


Sharjah Book Authority: Publishers Conference, October 31st - November 2nd, 2021


International Update: Paris Book Fair Canceled, Scribd In Australia

 

The French Publishers Association (Syndicat National de l'Edition) has canceled the 2021 Paris Book Fair (Livre Paris) for the second consecutive year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Bookseller reported that this year's event had originally been scheduled for March 19-22, then postponed to May 28-31, but the SNE said "uncertainties for the months ahead and the health restrictions in force preclude organizing a public event on this scale in satisfactory conditions."

The SNE has ruled out the idea of rescheduling again for the autumn "and mobilizing thousands of people--exhibitors, publishers, authors, speakers, local authorities, ministries, and partners from more than 50 countries--when the outlook remains 'very uncertain,' " the Bookseller noted.

A few hours after the SNE's announcement, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said Paris and 15 other departments with high Covid rates would be partially locked down for at least four weeks beginning March 19, though bookshops will remain open this time, having been officially classified as "essential" last month.

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Reading subscription service Scribd has launched in Australia, offering access to e-books, audiobooks, magazine articles, sheet music, podcasts and more for A$13.99 (about US$10.85) per month. In addition to its global catalogue, Scribd's selection of Australian content includes titles from publishers like Allen & Unwin, Murdoch Books, Simon & Schuster Australia, HarperCollins Publishers Australia and Fremantle Press.

"We're thrilled to be shining a light on great Australian authors and their e-books and audiobooks," said Andrew Weinstein, v-p of content, acquisition and strategy at Scribd. "Scribd has a long history of building relationships with publishers, and we're committed to helping drive incremental revenue to the local publishing ecosystem. We know reading ranks among the top three leisure activities in Australia and we look forward to helping nurture this love of reading." 

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"Our #ResistAmazon table is back and as popular as ever! Why shop on Amazon when local is cheaper, indeed?" Book Warehouse on Broadway, Vancouver, B.C., Canada noted in a Facebook post.

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A "trip around unique bookstores in Seoul" was featured by the Korea Times, which noted: "While some head to mega bookstore chains like Kyobo Book Center and Aladdin Store to find books, others head to smaller neighborhood nooks or unique retailers in hopes of coming across interesting titles. Unique bookstores like Seoul Book Bogo, Arc N Book and Starfield Library have attracted both tourists and Koreans alike looking to both check out books and take lasting photos of the stores' stunning interior. However, smaller independent bookstores are vastly different from those which get hundreds of visitors each day. At some of the smaller unique bookstores around Seoul, each owner's love of books and what makes them special will not be lost on its guests."


Peachtree Publishing Company: Hey! a Colorful Mystery by Kate Read


How Bookstores Are Coping: Upstate 'Exodus'; Reopening Interior

In Woodstock, N.Y., The Golden Notebook is open for browsing with a limit of 10 customers allowed in at once, owners Jacqueline Kellachan and James Conrad reported.

Reflecting on 2020, Kellachan and Conrad noted that the store ultimately "kind of came out where we should be," despite a very rocky start to the year. The store saw a 50% hit in the second quarter of 2020, and after author events, school book fairs and the Woodstock writers festival were canceled, things looked "pretty grim." The Woodstock community rallied around The Golden Notebook, however, and the town supervisor allowed the bookstore to operate as an essential business while most everything was closed.

As the year went on, a "strange thing happened" in the area. Normally, Woodstock and the surrounding area is packed with tourists during the summer, but that didn't happen in 2020. Instead, there was a "mass exodus" of people leaving New York City and its suburbs, and Conrad remarked that there is "not a house to be bought 100 miles from our store." In an area that is normally full of short-term rentals and houses that are empty for half of the year, the "houses are all full."

Locals often joke that once the pandemic is over, all of those houses will be up for sale again, but Conrad said he doesn't think they will be. It seems like people took this as their excuse to leave the city and move upstate, and they've found that they can live and work there year-round. Kellachan and Conrad pointed out that September is usually one of the slowest months of the year, but September 2020 was the store's best ever, and things have remained busy even after Christmas.

James Conrad and Jacqueline Kellachan

The pandemic gave the store the opportunity to make some significant changes, including turning its upstairs events space into a children's section, and clearing out old inventory and making more space on the shelves. The owners have set up a new "satellite store" at a theater complex in Bearsville, N.Y., which is where the Golden Notebook will hold future events. The complex's outdoor space should hopefully give them a chance to start doing events with limited attendance this summer.

Asked about their outlook for the first half of 2021, Conrad and Kellachan said they're optimistic, especially compared to how things were the same time last year. Looking ahead to the summer, they explained that although the store saw plenty of day-trippers, there was not the normal influx of tourists from around the country and even abroad. If some of that returns this summer, it "would be amazing."

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In Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Appletree Books is reopening its entire store to browsing this week after being half-closed since June of last year, owner Lynn Quintrell reported. Early last summer she and her team essentially "took a 2,000-square-foot store and jammed it into about 900 square feet." Customers were able to browse in a limited fashion while the other half of the store was used as a shipping and receiving area.

The closed half of the store contained mostly backlist, Quintrell continued, and while staff members were happy to grab any books that customers wanted from the closed side, the arrangement was "wearing a little thin" and people were getting frustrated by it. Nearly every member of the staff has had one or both vaccine doses now, she added, and after meeting and discussing the option, they decided they felt comfortable reopening the store. Masks will still be required, of course, and occupancy limits and social-distancing measures will still be observed.

All told, the store was down by about 25% in 2020, but the year ended on a very strong note. The holiday season was very busy, and Christmas sales came within 10% of 2019's, which was a record-setting year. Business has been slow again since about February, when the city started construction in front of the store and took away its on-site parking. February 2021 was down by about 25% compared to the previous year, but customers have been "so supportive" and very understanding about all the store has had to deal with.

As for any bright spots in a very difficult year, Quintrell pointed to the community's support as well as her staff's flexibility. The pandemic also forced her and her team to look at the store "with fresh eyes'' and reevaluate most everything they were doing. This led to many beneficial changes in the store's layout, including separating genres of fiction that used to be "all mushed together." Private browsing appointments, which the store started offering last year, will also return during future holiday seasons, even after things return to normal.

Quintrell said she was cautiously optimistic about the first half of 2021. The store is going to be doing a few bookfairs, which were "nonexistent" last year, and she thinks that they may be able to host some author receptions over the summer, though she "doesn't want to jump in whole hog" before there is a clearer idea of what's happening with the pandemic.

Quintrell said she's feeling "much more optimistic" about the second half of the year. In 2020 there were no real back-to-school sales, and there's a chance that could return this year. She also has big hopes for the 2021 holiday season. --Alex Mutter


KidsBuzz for the Week of 09.27.21


John Willson Retiring from Eagle Harbor Book Co. After 30 Years

John Willson

John Willson, a bookseller at Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island, Wash., for 30 years, is retiring. In a touching e-mail to customers, the store wrote, in part, "John's literary reach has been wide and deep, as a lifelong and award-winning poet, a teacher and mentor in his longstanding poetry workshop on Bainbridge Island, and recipient of the Island Treasure award in 2014. Given his track record, we feel distinctly honored to have had his expertise and intentionality shaping the bookstore. He has for many years been the quiet force behind the wall of Staff Picks, championing the recommendations of his coworkers.

"John's first book-length collection of poems, Call This Room a Station, has been our bestselling book of poetry over the past two years. Fellow bookseller David Perry says of the collection, 'John notices and makes us aware of value in the world around that we're otherwise likely to miss,' and these words ring true for how John has poured into the culture and spirit of Eagle Harbor Books as well. We are so grateful and wish him all the best."

The store also noted that "none of us remembers the store quite like John does when he joined the team in 1991. In truth, none of the rest of us were there, and a few of us may not have even reached the diaper stage yet. When our fearless owner Jane Danielson brought her job application into the store over a dozen years ago, she handed it to none other than John."

Eagle Harbor has a memory book in which people can write Willson "a note of appreciation" that will be set out through Friday, April 2.


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love by Kim Fay


Obituary Note: Joan Walsh Anglund

Joan Walsh Anglund

Joan Walsh Anglund, a "prolific children's author who earned the devotion of millions of readers with her sentimental depictions of little ones, their features often reduced to their all-seeing eyes in illustrations that sought to capture the essence of childhood," died March 9, the Washington Post reported. She was 95.

Anglund produced more than 120 books that sold 50 million copies worldwide in multiple languages. Her illustrations "became ubiquitous through their adaptation for greeting cards, calendars, figurines and other collectible merchandise," the Post noted, adding that she had a "signature style in which children's round faces were rendered without mouths or noses. Much like children themselves, they were a tabula rasa, a screen on which young readers could project and try out their own new and unfamiliar emotions."

"I think perhaps I am trying to get down to the essence of a child--not drawing just a particular, realistic child, but instead I think I'm trying to capture the 'feeling' of all children--of childhood itself, perhaps," Anglund once observed. "This may be too why I find myself dressing the children in my books in a timeless manner, not really in any definite 'period' in time--but always with a vague sense of nostalgia."

Her first book, A Friend Is Someone Who Likes You, was published in 1958, and she went on to produce dozens more books, finding particular success in the early years of her career with Love Is a Special Way of Feeling (1960), Christmas Is a Time of Giving (1961) and Spring Is a New Beginning (1963). Her more recent books include Babies Are a Bit of Heaven (2002), Love Is the Best Teacher (2004) and Faith Is a Flower (2006). In addition to illustrating her own works, she provided drawings for The Golden Treasury of Poetry by Louis Untermeyer (1959). Anglund also wrote several volumes of poetry for adults.  

"Children are little people who know how to experience the 'now,' " she told the Boston Globe in 1988. "Adults look fore and aft, and pine for what is not."

In a remembrance, Tim Jackson, a family friend who produced the documentary Joan Walsh Anglund: Life in Story and Poem, wrote: "In the film she confides, 'I realize I can’t stay here forever, but I feel that I can. I don’t have any sense of being old and sensible. Because every day the world is so new to me.' She spent 60 idyllic summers with the extended family at her small beach house on Nantucket. Days before she passed she said to her daughter Joy, 'I’m going into the deep, deep waves. I’m going to a homecoming.' "


Notes

Silver Unicorn Bookseller Honored with 'Unbossed Award'

Posted on Facebook Monday by the Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton, Mass.: "Yesterday, our bookseller Neha (second from left) and three other [Acton Boxborough Regional High School] students--Ashley, Kubura and Olivia--were given an Unbossed award from State Rep. Dr. Tami Gouveia (pictured middle). The award celebrates women in leadership, and Neha and her peers were recognized for their work with AB Students for Equity and Justice (ABSEJ). Olivia (far right), will be joining us for our virtual launch tomorrow of 'Kids on the March.' Congrats to all four. We're so thrilled to have leaders like Neha on our staff!"


Masking Up: Turn the Page Bookstore Cafe

"Hand made by one of our newest employees, Karen! How cute are these masks!" Turn the Page Bookstore Café, Boonsboro, Md., posted on Facebook. "She made us a few for Christmas and we asked her to make more for the store. We knew our book lovers would enjoy them too! Double layers of fabric for your protection and adjustable ear straps for comfort."


Personnel Changes at Simon & Schuster

At Simon & Schuster:

Kaiya Muniz has been promoted to national account manager for Barnes & Noble, children's sales for the distribution client team.

Amy Rohn has been promoted to sales coordinator.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Neil deGrasse Tyson on the Kelly Clarkson Show

Tomorrow:
Tamron Hall: Samantha Busch, author of Fighting Infertility: Finding My Inner Warrior Through Trying to Conceive, IVF, and Miscarriage (Health Communications, $16.95, 9780757323836).

Kelly Clarkson Show: Neil deGrasse Tyson, co-author of Cosmic Queries: StarTalk's Guide to Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We're Going (National Geographic, $30, 9781426221774).


Movies: The Watergate Girl

Katie Holmes has optioned The Watergate Girl: My Fight for Truth and Justice Against a Criminal President by former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks through her Noelle Productions banner, Deadline reported. Holmes will star and produce the project, which is planned as a feature adaptation.

"I'm excited to be working with Katie Holmes and am both honored and humbled to have my experience as the only woman on the Watergate trial team shared on the big screen," said Wine-Banks, who has also served as general counsel of the U.S. Army and executive v-p and COO of the American Bar Association. "Though it was almost 50 years ago, the story of our investigation and trial remain compelling and relevant to current events, and the sexism reflected in my story reverberates today. I hope this film opens up more dialogue around the challenges still facing professional women."

Holmes added: "I was drawn to this story because it is as relevant today as it was then. Women are constantly trying to break through the glass ceiling in the male workplace and this woman singlehandedly helped reshape the Watergate trial. I am constantly inspired by these strong female protagonists, and it is a world I will always want to explore."



Books & Authors

Awards: Audie Winners; Windham-Campbell Prizes

The 2021 Audiobook of the Year is Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor (Bloomsbury), and the 2021 Young Adult Audie Award winner is Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo and Melania-Luisa Marte (HarperAudio).

The announcements were made during the 26th Audie Awards Gala, held by the Audio Publishers Association. Winners in 25 categories were also celebrated and can be seen here. To enjoy the gala event in its entirety, click here.

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The winners of this year's Windham-Campbell Prizes, annual awards that "celebrate extraordinary literary achievement" and help writers "focus on their work independent of financial concerns," have been announced. The eight winners will each receive an unrestricted grant of $165,000.

This year's winners are: in nonfiction, Vivian Gornick (United States) and Kate Briggs (United Kingdom/Netherlands); in fiction, Dionne Brand (Canada/Trinidad and Tobago) and Renee Gladman (United States); in poetry, Canisla Lubrin (Saint Lucia/Canada) and Natalie Scenters-Zapico (United States); and in drama, Nathan Alan Davis (United States) and Michael R. Jackson (United States).

The prizes are administered by Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library and were the brainchild of founders Donald Windham and Sandy M. Campbell. The prizes have been awarded annually since 2013.


Book Review

Review: I'm Waiting for You and Other Stories

I'm Waiting for You: And Other Stories by Bo-Young Kim, trans. by Sophie Bowman and Sung Ryu (Harper Voyager, $26.99 hardcover, 336p., 9780062951465, April 6, 2021)

As impressive as Kim Bo-Young's intriguing stories are, their literary provenance is equally entertaining. "I wrote 'I'm Waiting for You' for one person to read and one person to hear, with no ambitions of it ever being published," Kim reveals in her author's note. An old friend reached out via "polite email" and, although Kim had never written a romance, requested "a story he could use to propose"! The highly successful result--both as aphrodisiac and literature--appears as the eponymous opener to Kim's four-title collection of two interlinked pairs, the first and last translated by Sophie Bowman, the middle two by Sung Ryu.

Lucky readers are wise to lean in and get ready to sigh and soar. The bracketing stories, "I'm Waiting for You" and "On My Way to You," are a he-said/she-said duet about timeless love. In the proposal-accepting former, a young man embarks on an eight-week voyage into space, expecting to meet his fiancée at trip's end for their wedding ceremony. A series of 15 letters he writes to her capture all the ways the journey goes awry causing missed connections. Despite a separation that lasts so many Earth years as to lose count, his love remains utterly constant.

With the real-life couple happily married, Kim then wrote the resonating sequel, "On My Way to You," intended as a first anniversary gift, then to welcome their first child, finally delivered as that child turned two. Here the fiancée gets her say, also in 15 letters that record what happened during the waiting, of the disasters and destructions wrought throughout the universe, and her tenacious belief in unwavering true love. In between exploring such everlasting commitment, Kim includes "The Prophet of Corruption" and "That One Life"--the latter she calls "a light spinoff" of the former--in which the immortal world of connected-yet-conflicting creators observe and evaluate the machinations and manipulations they control on Earth below.

Kim, lauded as one of Korea's most influential and award-winning sci-fi writers, served as a script adviser to an earlier film by Oscar winner Bong Joon-ho of Parasite fame. Her short story "Between Zero and One" was a highlight in the 2019 anthology Readymade Bodhisattva, which introduced her work to Anglophone audiences. Readymade's publisher, indie Kaya Press, will publish Kim's On the Origin of the Species and Other Stories in May 2021. Such a plethora of compelling choices seems poised to enable and encourage Kim's international acclaim. --Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon

Shelf Talker: Kim Bo-Young, one of Korea's most influential sci-fi literary stars, transforms a friend's request for assistance with a marriage proposal into a compelling four-story collection.


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by IndieReader.com:

1. Private Property by Skye Warren
2. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
3. Business Success Secrets by Various
4. Holding onto You by Various
5. Scout by Janie Crouch
6. From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
7. Sweet Tea & Wedding Rings by Rachel Hanna
8. The Deep Rig by Patrick Byrne
9. Midnight Whispers by Various
10. Forever Never by Lucy Score

[Many thanks to IndieReader.com!]


KidsBuzz: HarperCollins: Rubylicious by Victoria Kann
KidsBuzz: DK Children: Verity Fairy and Cinderella by Caroline Wakeman
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